Today in 1981, Willie Nelson recorded “Always On My Mind” and “The Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning” at his Pedernales Studio outside of Austin, Texas.
The album “Always on My Mind” is the twenty-seventh studio album by Willie Nelson. It was the Billboard number one country album of the year for 1982, and stayed 253 weeks on the Billboard Top Country Albums charts, peaking at number one for a total of 22 weeks, as well as spending 99 weeks on the Billboard 200 for all albums, peaking at number two for 3 weeks.
During the recording sessions for Nelson’s collaboration album with Merle Haggard, Pancho & Lefty, the producer Chips Moman and Bobby Emmons suggested that they record Johnny Christopher’s “Always on My Mind”. Haggard had no interest in recording a version of the song for the album, so instead Nelson recorded his own version. In his autobiography, Nelson stated: “We’ll never know what would have happened if Merle had really heard the song right. ‘Always on My Mind’ bowled me over the moment I first heard it, which is one way I pick songs to record”.
The rest of the album was constituted by adult-contemporary and pop standards, such as “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” and Paul Simon’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, as well as re-recordings of his own songs including “Permanently Lonely” (originally recorded for 1969’s Good Times LP) and “The Party’s Over” (originally recorded for The Party’s Over released in 1967).
A 2003 re-release of the album included two bonus tracks: “The Man Who Owes Everyone” and “I’m a Memory” (another re-recording of an earlier release).